Cindy Christensen on Sterling Ranch and a Not So Public Meeting

Below are citizen minutes of the CAC meeting from Feb. 1, 2007 where Sterling Ranch was discussed.  Please note that Greg Reinke is Christensen’s campaign treasurer, Cronenberger, Jurgenson and Thornton are contributors to her campaign.   


CAC Meeting – Only 8 members in attendance

1 February 2007

 As always – the italicized words are mine.  I try to use as many of the same words the speaker use to keep the “report” as accurate as possible.    If you are receiving this second or third hand and would like to receive regular meeting reports/minutes, please email me and I will add you to the list.  Conversely, if you are receiving this and no longer want to, just let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. I have been attending the CAC meetings and report only when I hear something significant.  Otherwise it is a waste of my time to report because they spend a lot of time editing what staff has presented them for the rewrite of the Complan.  (I hope you picked up on the operative – staff is writing the revised Complan and not the citizens that were appointed to do the work.  Citizens are merely wordsmithing and editing the work.) The meeting was particularly enlightening.  If you remember CAC had a public forum to learn about Annexation 101.  I did write about that meeting so you might want to refer back to the notes.  Since annexation was not of interest to the public that showed up for the public input sessions it was a mystery to my why the subject was given CAC time.  At the forum, Kent Bagley the chair of the Planning Commission told the audience that he thought the topic was important for the CAC members and it was his suggestion that the Annexation 101 forum be held.  This meeting further revealed what I have been hearing through the grapevine about Sterling Ranch. Littleton agreed to Urban Growth Boundaries some time in the past.  I don’t know the ins and outs of the agreement.  What I do know is that it is an effort by DRCOG to contain growth to minimize “urban sprawl”.  Littleton is land locked and our growth rate is very limited. 

Rick Cronenberger said that the area south of Littleton is not in our Urban Growth Boundary and that the effort is to push growth north and open space south. 

Greg Reinke said he has been talking to developers of property south of Titan Road and the CAC needed to hop on this.  The property owner has 3,000 acres with 214 of those acres zoned commercial and they want to be part of Littleton.  He mentioned the poor emergency response time for the citizens in Trail Mark and said the developer is willing to build a fire station for Trail Mark if they are annexed by Littleton.  (Could this be the solution for Trail Mark’s emergency services that Conklin said she was working on?) If we wait we won’t have the chance and he thought the CAC should make a recommendation to the Planning Commission to propose annexation.  He wanted to schedule the developers to come and talk to CAC about their development.  He was asking for their support.

Someone said that the CAC’s position is to look at long term policies that address annexation and they should not get into specific annexations.

Reinke said they are looking at the year 2030 but they should still suggest an exploratory effort to annex the development south of Titan Road.  This just appeared and we should push it up to the city council.

Rick Cronenberger said he was concerned with defining the city limits of Littleton.  Centennial’s incorporation on the east did help but C-470 on the south will forever be the southern boundary of Littleton.  Physical boundaries make and break communities and you just can’t get past that.

Reinke said there are residents in Trail Mark that want to de-annex from Littleton because of the poor services they receive and if we annex we will have a whole new Littleton out there.

LaDonna Jurgensen said it was interesting but it was not the committee’s responsibility.

Reinke said it would impact the 2030 plan.

Cronenberger said he would like them to come and explain why the want to use the name “Littleton” since they were closer to Castle Rock.

Cindy Christensen asked if the Planning Commission is the appropriate place – shouldn’t the meeting be smaller and not so public. 

Reinke said if CAC made the recommendation it would have more clout.

Someone said it was not the role of CAC.

Reinke wanted to make a recommendation.  Are we just puppets?  We are important and looking at the future this is huge.  We could look at it as a case study.

Dennis Swain, staff, suggested that what they needed to recommend is an on-going review for annexation rather than looking every 3 to 5 years.  CAC needed to set criteria for the City Council and the Planning Commission to use when looking for annexation prospects.

Emilia Cassidy said that she was concerned.  If a quick decision was needed the annexation might not be available by the time they were done with the Complan.

Reinke said he wanted to do this before completion of the Complan. 

Reinke was asked who knew about this and he said he did and so did Kent Bagley.

Sue Thornton said that there are a lot of issues that the developers have to go through and it won’t be built for a few years.  It should have to go through the Planning Commission and then to City Council.

Christensen said if the developers could make their report in 10 minutes it would be acceptable to her.

Kent Bagley asked if he could make a comment.  He said the whole issue of annexation was one that he wanted the CAC to have exposure to as part of their process.  He didn’t know if a presentation to the CAC by the developers would be worthwhile.  I am hearing that the CAC endorses the idea and maybe the Planning Commission is a good place to start.  Bagley said he has met with the developers and has known about it because of what he does for a living. 

It was decided that Dennis Swain would draft a goal and policy statement regarding annexation for the CAC to consider.

The developers are not invited but “they” would make sure the developers go before someone.  Thornton said it should go to the Planning Commission and not to staff because sometimes staff may or may not favor something.

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